The Day Actress Brooke Adams Went Canvassing For Hillary Clinton

I was going to write about my involvement in fashion and activism with ARMS CONTROL, the super-long gloves that were going to become a fashion sensation so popular they would take care of funding the entire gun control movement. I couldn't write it.

For the last four days my sister Lynne and I have been in Pennsylvania canvassing for Hillary Clinton. We brought our dogs Scoop and Virgil with us. We thought it might be nice to have them. And there was no place else we could leave them. So we piled into Lynne's Prius and off we went.

Lynne and I are hopeless when it comes to driving to a new destination. We are completely dependent on the GPS. We often marvel that we ever got anywhere before we had one, even though we spend a lot of time second guessing it. Neither of us has any idea where places are geographically located so we're paranoid because we could drive for hours in the wrong direction and not know it. I am driving, Lynne is manning the GPS on her cell phone. She has been repeating all the GPS directions very loudly to make sure I can hear them. "Take exit 16 in 1 mile to the New Jersey turnpike...THE NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE?! CAN THAT BE RIGHT?!" We're heading from New York to Pennsylvania so I suspect that New Jersey isn't that farfetched but I'm not confident. We panic too often just as we get to the exit. We're morons. We can't read maps and we both have a terrible sense of direction. Lynne's sense of direction is a little worse than mine.

So after a harrowing trip of about three hours that should have been an hour and a half, we arrived at the democratic office we'd been told to go to. When you're doing this kind of canvassing you are given a list of addresses with the name, age, and gender of the registered voter who lives there. You are given a script of what to say. You are not trying to convince anyone who to vote for but you are trying to make sure they vote. They are all registered democrats. The first neighborhood we went to was predominantly African American and they were inconsistent voters, we were told. Don't let them off until they've told you their plan for voting: Do they know where to go, how to get there, what time they're going, and what they need to have with them if anything. This seemed a little condescending but we tried to do it. But be sure to seal the deal with a commitment from them. "Can Hillary count on you on election day?"

All the people who were home were very nice even if they were feeling harassed by the election, like we all were. One woman who was 90-years-old and slightly forgetful told us she knew Hillary. That Hillary had been in her home. Maybe, but we weren't sure about that or that she had the ride to the polling place that she claimed she had, so we got her name and number and gave it to the office and they were going to get her a ride. It felt good to have facilitated that. Nobody but us knew it but we had effectively gotten one vote for Hillary. And who knew how many more we could take credit for?

The next day we had our second opportunity. This adorable 25-year-old guy (Lynne remembers him as black, I remember him as white ) wearing a loose wife beater t-shirt and sporting tons of tattoos on his naturally muscular arms, opened his door. He told us he hated both Trump and Hillary. He's heard stuff about her. She's a liar. She can't be trusted. Trump's not good either. "What has she done, what have you heard?" We asked and then he kinda smiled like he knew he didn't know what he was talking about. That maybe he hadn't really been paying attention. He just didn't think either of them would change his life. So we started asking him about what issues he cared about. Did he think if the 1 percent were given more tax breaks there would be more good jobs and opportunities for him? He laughed. Did he think women should be told by the government what they had to do if they got pregnant? Hell no! Did he think the Mexicans were all rapists and murderers and were taking away his jobs? No of course not. We talked for 10 minutes at least. And finally thinking he seemed pretty swayed, I dropped the bomb. "Can Hillary count on you?" and after a moments consideration he said "alright." We felt euphoric.

Then we went to a rally for all the down ballot candidates; Katy McGinty for Senate, Leanne Krueger-Brankeky for State Representative, a powerhouse who had brought in a slew of female candidates who all seemed to have great values and were very energized to support the democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, who was there. They were excited about turning Pennsylvania into a progressive blue state. We were impressed with them and swept up in their enthusiasm.

The next day we hit the streets with renewed energy. We went to low income housing neighborhood where, again, everyone we found at home was very polite and so sweet. I knocked on one door where I could smell the pot wafting out from under it. And then a male voice boomed out in a scary way. "WHO'S THERE?" "I'm canvassing um ... for Hillary" in a much softer voice "Come around the front" and I realized I was at the back door. When he opened his front door he was this big, warm, stoned, black guy and it was obvious he was relieved. He was laughing "I forgot that door was even there" more laughter, then I started to laugh and we enjoyed a good chuckle together. Then I introduced myself and Lynne to him and we had a long (15-minute) talk about politics. It turned out he was from Afghanistan but had lived here for 25 years. He had an American accent. He knew pretty much everything I knew about the two candidates. He says he saw Hillary at a rally and he looked into her eyes and he believed her. He knew she was going to try to help the middle class and he also knew that Trump was a monster. But he just somehow was against voting for either of them. We kept pushing. And he kept saying "I can't explain it... I just can't." finally downhearted we left wishing him luck. We crossed the street and began our ridiculously difficult search for the next house when he came out of his house with a bag of garbage and crossed over to us announcing "Okay, I'll vote, You ladies got me." Practically crying I asked the question and he said begrudgingly "yeah, Hillary can count on me." I wanted to throw my arms around him but I don't think I did. It was an ecstatic moment that was the perfect end of our day. We walked away that day certain we were going to win this one.

To be continued tomorrow...

Catch all new episodes of Brooke's web series, All Downhill From Here, every Tuesday on Youtube. Watch the entire series at AllDownhillFromHereTv.com and follow on Twitter.

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